INDEPENDENCE — Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith took to social media Saturday to express his anger over a decision by the NBA.
Smith posted on his Instagram account that the league informed him he must cover up the Supreme tattoo on his leg during games or face fines. Smith also tweeted the same, but it was blocked for “potentially sensitive content.”
The streetwear brand Supreme manufactures a shooting sleeve. Last season against the Los Angeles Lakers Smith wore a Dry-Fit collaboration with Nike that had large Supreme letters and the league’s Jerry West silhouette logo and it was the talk of the Internet.
“I swear I’m the only person they do s*** like this to!” Smith wrote on Instagram. “So you mean to tell me I have to cover up my tattoo for what? You don’t make people cover up Jordan logos, Nike checks or anything else, but because it’s me it’s a problem all of a sudden!!...” His comment was followed by a middle finger emoji.
A league spokesman told Shams Charania of The Athletic that NBA rules prohibit players from "displaying any commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair."
Although some of the discussion had to do with their upcoming flight to Dayton, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue talked to the team longer than normal after practice and Smith also spoke to the group.
“I thought we took a step back as a team as far as execution,” Lue said. “Understanding what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying to look for with different reads, I just thought we didn’t really pick it up as well as we did the first couple days. Little disappointed about that, but overall the guys are trying to do the right thing. We’ve just got to be better at doing it.”
Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported that Smith criticized the Cavs' younger players for dodging texts from the training staff.
The Cavs will scrimmage Sunday on a temporary court erected in a hangar at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. Lue said as soon as the Cavs arrive, they will head straight to the mess hall to eat with the servicemen and women.
“[To have] a chance to meet with the men and women that protect our country, I’m very excited, our guys are very excited,” Lue said. “For a young team to see their work ethic and what they do, how they prepare and how they train and how everything’s in order, there’s no better way to start your camp off.”
Lue said he didn’t like the floppy sets he ran last season with Kyle Korver and Smith together, which could mean one of them will be the starting shooting guard and the other will come off the bench. Such sets involve screens to get one of a team's better shooters a shot or touch.
“I just don’t like it as much,” Lue said, when pressed on how frequently he used it last season.
Hood, Thompson sit
Rodney Hood arrived at practice with an illness and sat out, and Tristan Thompson was sidelined with a sore left knee.
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.